Brooklyn parents groups are waging war against the city Department of Education (DOE).
The reason? Cupcakes!
So far, two local Community Education Councils (CEC) have passed resolutions opposing the DOE’s decision to limit the number of bake sales in public schools. And the fight doesn’t stop there.
“I will follow protocol and send [the resolution] to the DOE first. Once I do that, I will send it to every other CEC in the city and ask them to please consider passing the resolution. This way the word gets out,” said Laurie Windsor, president of District 20’s CEC, which advocates for schools in Bay Ridge, Fort Hamilton, Borough Park and part of Bensonhurst.
District 21’s CEC, representing Coney Island and Bensonhurst, passed a similar resolution last month at the urging of the local Presidents’ Council.
The Presidents’ Council, which is comprised of Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) and Parent Association (PA) leaders, says bake sales are successful ways to raise money for schools.
“It’s a very easy fundraiser for schools to do,” Windsor agreed. “Organizations in the schools also do it. A band might raise money for new instruments or the cheerleaders may raise money for new school uniforms. A lot of times the student government does it and donates the money to charity.”
Parents say the bake sales are especially important as schools face additional budget cuts.
“These are important sources of fundraising in many schools,” said Jim Devor, president of District 15’s CEC, representing Red Hook, Park Slope and Sunset Park. “When they’re reducing funding from schools, this is probably the worst time to introduce the latest and greatest Tweed health craze.”
But the DOE believes the new policy will combat childhood obesity. As per the reworked rules, PA and PTA groups can hold bake sales once a month after lunch time. They can also sell desserts after 6 p.m. on weekdays.
Christopher Spinelli, president of District 22’s CEC representing Mill Basin, Bergen Beach, Manhattan Beach, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach and parts of Midwood, Flatbush and Sheepshead Bay, doesn’t understand why the DOE is focusing on bake sales.
“It seems ridiculous — this whole ban on bake sales,” he said. “It’s taking up an enormous amount of energy and time talking about when a Parents Association can sell a cupcake. We have much bigger issues to deal with.”
©2009 Community News Group
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